Here’s footage from three different cameras, all looking good!
Blackmagic Pocket Camera
They seem to have fixed the ugly white orbs and black spots issues. John Brawley writes:
CMOS sensors are particularly susceptible to this to varying degrees, and sensors have various design features to reduce the effect (“anti-blooming drain” in the transistors during reset). It can be mitigated, but not entirely – it’s just physics. If you have a bazillion more photons than you can count hitting a given pixel, the energy has to go somewhere!
The problem is that once you describe something as an “orb” then you can start to see orbs in almost any footage including those from cameras that aren’t Blackmagic Cinema Cameras.
Orbs can be created through any number of factors and are greatly affected by sensor size, lenses, exposure, where you set focus and what kind of lights or “orb” sources you’re shooting.
So lets’ say orbs are normal. You get them whenever you have a small point source like the bare filament of a bulb at a distance or a small glint from the sun off a car. It could also be lights at a great distance that are out of focus. They are usually super white or beyond clipping. Once out of focus they become even more “orby”
Once the sensor clips then it renders that detail white.
What was different here is that specular highlights and small sources with extreme overexposure can cause a kind of hard clipping with the Blackmgaic pocket cinema camera, as opposed to “orbs”.
It barely was present in my own early footage and it seems to have been worse in the production versions of the camera.
BMD have come up with a fix for this hard clipping in the space of a couple of weeks. I’ve got both an uncalibrated production camera and a calibrated production camera so I thought I’d shoot them side by side with a bit of a highlight orb torture test.
Here’s another test:
Canon C500 with Aja Quad
From Magnanimous Media:
Jonah Rubash and Nina Portillo take a 28mm Ziess CP2, Canon C500 and Ki Pro Quad out for an early morning spin. Shot in C-Log 4K Pro Res and graded in Da Vinci Resolve.
Red Dragon 6K
From Gunleik Groven:
QT does not handle all the highlights, that is no blaming on Dragon.
In a wider DR format like DCP one can have more of the dynamics represented without having it look dull or tonemapped.
Lowered the levels generally in an alternate version, but that looked a bit dull…So I stuck to this for now.
I actually have a 4k DCP, for anyone with a 4k theatre…